Blue Pill Eater vs Freethinking Individual


The Blue Pill Eater

What Have We Learned From Google?

Lance Ulanoff: 20 years after its launch, Google is responsible for an entirely different way of thinking

Technology changes fast, but few products, services or companies have swept into an existing market and refashioned them in their own image as quickly and completely as Google.

In 1998, Google wandered into a busy room full of Internet know-it-all search engines. A few of them — like Northern Lights, Alta Vista, and Yahoo — were recognized leaders. Each one had its own approach to indexing the rapidly expanding web with browse trees and spiders. And each one had millions of devoted users. Without these engines, most of us had no idea how to find anything on the World Wide Web (as we often called it back then).

Without Google, I don’t think we ever would’ve truly understood the enormous power and potential of data.

Within a year, Google was recognized as one of the internet’s best websites. It was lauded for its uncanny ability to find relevant results. In 1999, two years after Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company, PC Magazine deemed it “destined to succeed.”

By year five, Google was a verb, as I noted when I wrote “I Search, Therefore I Google.” All those search engines had either cleared out of that crowded room, or started for the exit, leaving Google essentially alone. Yes, Microsoft (once rumored to be interested in acquiring the then-young company) built Bing, a rare search startup that has carved out a remarkable 24% of the U.S. search market. Still, for the better part of a decade. Google systematically steamrolled over all existing search options until it was almost impossible to imagine conducting a search without it.

But this is a story we all know. I’m more interested in everything else we’ve learned from Google’s remarkable rise …

Well Mr Ulanoff may have learned what he believes is a new way of thinking from Google, but to my mind, being told what to think by Silicon Valley nerds or accepting that our thoughts need only be informed by the information contained in carefully filtered news feds is not thinking at all …


The Freethinking Individual

How To Make A Solid, Customized News Stream That Isn’t Manipulated By Silicon Valley

Caitlin Johnson: It can be hard to find a supply of information about what’s going on in the world that isn’t being manipulated by power. You find a news outlet you like, then you start to notice them hiring reporters who regurgitate the establishment line on WikiLeaks or Syria. You shift to trying to get your news from the voices you follow on social media, and you find that the good stuff gets (A) diluted by dopey social media drama and (B) actively hidden from your view by shadowbans and algorithmic shenanigans. Googling the news is the same as turning on CNN since they hide all voices which share unauthorized narratives, and alternative search engines often aren’t much better, so what’s a truth seeker to do?

I’ve been at this job for a while, and there’s a basic trick I’ve been using for a long time to stay informed about what’s going on in the world enough to write about it lucidly. Anywhere information is centralized you’ll find the fingers of power doing everything possible to manipulate it, so rather than relying on centralized outlets or Silicon Valley algorithms to find out what’s going on, I use a private Twitter list which I’ve filled with the handles of individual journalists and commentators I’ve come to trust as reliable sources of information and insight. It bypasses shadowbans and algorithms, it’s the first thing I check online every morning, and it’s the most frequently used bookmark on my browser.


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